“The Rebel Girl” Receives a N.H. Historical Highway Marker

[Note: To our bug-eyed surprise, the following message appeared in our email inbox on Tuesday, May 2nd. – The Ed.]

The N.H. Division of Historical Resources is pleased to announce that a New Hampshire Historical Highway Marker honoring Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, a well-known labor, women’s rights and civil liberties activist, has been installed at the corner of Court and Montgomery Streets in downtown Concord, near the site of her birthplace.

The marker reads:


“‘The Rebel Girl’

“Born in Concord in 1890, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was a nationally known labor leader, civil libertarian and feminist organizer. She joined the Industrial Workers of the World at age 17 where her fiery speeches earned her the nickname ‘The Rebel Girl.’ As a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, Flynn advocated for women’s rights, including supporting their right to vote and access to birth control. She joined the Communist Party in 1936 and was sent to prison in 1951 under the notorious Smith Act.”

An unveiling ceremony for the marker was held on May 1. It is the 278th marker in New Hampshire’s Historical Highway Marker program, and the 12th that highlights the accomplishments of an individual woman.

Any municipality, agency, organization or individual wishing to propose a historical highway marker to commemorate significant New Hampshire places, persons or events must submit a petition of support signed by at least 20 New Hampshire residents. They must also draft the text of the marker and provide footnotes and copies of supporting documentation, as well as a suggested location for marker placement.

New Hampshire’s historical highway markers illustrate the depth and complexity of our history and the people who made it, from the last Revolutionary War soldier to contemporary sports figures to poets and painters who used New Hampshire for inspiration; from 18th-century meeting houses to stone arch bridges to long-lost villages; from factories and cemeteries to sites where international history was made.

An interactive map of all of the state’s historical highway markers is available at the N.H. Division of Historical Resources’ website, nh.gov/nhdhr.

The New Hampshire Historical Highway Marker program is jointly managed by the N.H. Division of Historical Resources and N.H. Department of Transportation.


Geologists, check your seismometers for unusual activity in Orford, N.H. and Pride’s Crossing, Mass. Mel Thomson and Bill Loeb cannot be resting in peace.

An event like this would have been unthinkable when Thomson ran the state and Loeb ran the Union Leader.

As Flynn herself said, though, “History has a long-range perspective. It ultimately passes stern judgment on tyrants and vindicates those who fought, suffered, were imprisoned, and died for human freedom, against political oppression and economic slavery.”

The Editor


What Medicare Did for Ray Brighton

To the Editor, and Ray Brighton:

Thank you, Mr. Brighton, for sharing the cost of your recent 24 hour plus experience in the emergency room, and the benefits of having Medicare, with the Portsmouth Herald. As reported, Mr. Brighton was billed $14,692 for his care. Since I assume that he was not admitted to the hospital, Medicare Part B covered 80 percent of the cost. If Mr. Brighton had been admitted, he would have been covered under Medicare Part A at 100 percent of the cost of his care. Fortunately, Mr. Brighton had Medicare supplemental insurance which covered most of the 20 percent not covered by Medicare Part B.

However, there is a bigger story here that must be considered. Medicare is a universal single payer system managed by the federal government for the elderly and disabled. We all pay into Medicare while working through a payroll tax, and once retired, we pay a small monthly Part B premium out of our Social Security benefit. Medicare and the government do not provide the medical care, they simply pay the appropriate medical expenses just like a private insurance company. However Medicare has an administrative overhead of about five percent, while most private insurance is about 20 percent. While Mr. Brighton appropriately praises his supplemental Medicare insurance for covering most of the 20 percent not covered by Medicare Part B, without Medicare in the first place there would not be a Medicare Part B or the opportunity to buy supplemental insurance for him to rely on. In the absence of Medicare where would Mr. Brighton and millions of seniors and the disabled be? Without a Medicare system seniors and the disabled would either go without insurance, or considering their age and health conditions, be faced with buying very expensive private insurance if they could get it at all. And if they were able to obtain insurance, it would certainly come with very high copays and deductibles.

Republicans opposed Medicare in 1964, and have been trying to eliminate or privatize it ever since. If they had succeeded, Mr. Brighton and tens of millions of others would have a much different financial outcome than the one he shared with us.

This case study simply illustrates how better off all Americans would be if we had a Medicare-For-All System like most other industrialized nations.

Thank you Mr. Brighton for highlighting with such a personal real life experience the benefits of Medicare.

Rich DiPentima, RN, MPH

Portsmouth, N.H.


Republicans deride modest Democratic proposals as unworkable, then commit acts of sabotage to prove themselves correct.

The philosopher Thomas Hobbes described life without any form of governance as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

In today’s GOP, that dire description passes for Utopia.

The Editor


A Simple Comparison

Good morning, Editor,

Couldn’t help but notice the passion displayed in resident MAGA correspondent Don Ewing’s latest on schools’ subjecting pink-cheeked innocent children to the horrifying effects of “pornography.” Apparently fond of spewing “statistics,” he conveniently left one out; how does the childhood death rate from being exposed to “pornography” compare to that of the discharge of AR-15”s in the classroom? Hmmmm?

John C. Ficor

Richmond, Va.


It’s now illegal for the state of Texas to provide tampons and sanitary napkins in schools.

However, students there are being taught first aid to assist classmates and teachers suffering from gunshot wounds.

The Editor


Hoods are Optional

To the Editor:

We sweat out disasters

Daily check

Review statistics

Killed, and injured

Yesterday, last week

This month’s mourning

Repeated. America’s

Endless cycle. America,

Home for freedom-loving

Vigilantes. Hoods are optional

As they display

Their 2nd amendment

Right, to kill at will.

Genevieve Harris-Fraser

Orange, Mass.


Why Not Both?

To the Editor:

How many times have you heard a politician say after a mass shooting “It isn’t a gun problem. It is a mental health problem”? Actually, it is both.

Every country has people with mental health issues, but most have fewer mass shootings in a year than we average per day. The reason is simple. When another country suffers from a mass shooting, their politicians enact laws to limit access to guns. Their politicians are sane.

Many of ours are not. Since the Sandy Hook school shooting many states, including New Hampshire, made it easier to get weapons, to legally carry weapons and conceal weapons. They legalized ownership of semiautomatic weapons with large magazines. Even worse are the states that passed laws making it legal to shoot unarmed people by claiming you were afraid of them.

How do states address the so-called mental health problems and guns? They do not. They only think someone has a mental health problem after they commit a mass shooting. How sane is it to allow the sale of weapons to people the politicians said had mental health problems. It is not sane.

We have more guns in this country than people. If guns made us safer, we would be the safest country on earth. We are the opposite because of our insane politicians.

Walter Hamilton

Portsmouth, N.H.


Far be it from us to argue that anyone in the GOP is sane. The general level of paranoia they display would be comical if it were not so damaging.

The full panoply of their perverse policies can hardly be the consequence of individual madness, though. This gun-frenzy is a component of the culture war, the ultimate aim of which is to eradicate democratic government in favor of an unfettered market.

Greed, to put it more simply.

The Editor


A Job for the Devil

To the Editor:

It’s been clear for some time that the sentiment expressed in “Pro-Life” ends with small humans’ exit from the womb. If parents are not among the privileged one percent (talk about entitlement!) good luck to them feeding and securing medical and other care for their progeny, and if they do succeed in raising them to school age, in keeping them out of the sights of the millions of loonies crawling around the country with assault weapons.

I wondered to my daughter, embarked on a slightly above minimum wage career in social work, what God is waiting for, and she opined that he or she is likely under a table, curled up in a fetal position, wondering what he or she wrought. God would, in fact, be well advised not to visit this den of iniquity in the present social climate; what the Romans did to Jesus would be as nothing compared to what today’s AR-15 toting “Christians” would do to a long-haired socialist who preaches love and compassion, caring for the poor and sick and displaced, turning the other cheek, and generally being decent. He’d be shot quicker than an African-American teenager.

I don’t spend much, actually any, time wondering if there is a God, but I fervently hope that there is a devil, to accommodate the multitudes who have earned in spades the Christian hell.

Beyond sick of the hypocrisy,

John Simon

Portsmouth, N.H.


A very good friend once remarked that in the unlikely event that he someday meets his alleged maker, he’s going to pose a few pointed questions.

The Editor


The Pernicious Effects of Inequality

To the editor;

Kudos to the Gazette for publishing three “Tax Day” articles by Wilkens, Allegretto and Johnson (The New Hampshire Gazette, April 21, 2023). The authors aptly describe how the U.S. tax system shelters wealth and bakes in wealth inequality. The tax advantages preserve the status of an economic elite and reinforce the economic forces that created the inequality. Wealth inequality has been increasing in the U.S. since the ’80s so that the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans now own approximately 70 percent of all wealth while the bottom 50 percent owns only three percent. These are levels not seen since the Gilded Age and place the U.S. as one of the most unequal countries in the industrialized world.

The dangers of excessive wealth inequality have been known for a long time. Both Plato and Aristotle note that large imbalances of wealth are a cause of social unrest within societies. Plato states that economic disparities cause the lower classes to seek out a protector who will defend them against the elite. The protector is often a demagogue who promises reform to the people while establishing himself as a tyrant. History is replete with examples to include Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Franco, and Hitler.

Populist revolutions are a threat to modern democracies. Hungary, Poland, Brazil, Venezuela and our own recent experience stand as examples. The fact is extreme levels of wealth inequality are not compatible with democracy. As economic distress builds in disadvantaged classes, trust in ruling elites vanishes and, as Plato notes, they seek out leaders who will promote their interests. The elites, seeking to preserve their wealth, act to eliminate the influence of the lower classes by denying them democratic representation. Any attempt to co-operate for the common good is impossible as the groups engage in a death match for power.

This process is well underway in America. Former blue-collar workers who had established a comfortable middle-class lifestyle following World War II watched manufacturing jobs disappear with globalization and automation. As middle-class incomes disappeared and working-class communities crumbled, white factory workers without a college degree became increasingly frustrated and angry. As working-class incomes stagnated, the incomes of more educated financial and tech workers skyrocketed. The displaced cohort was ripe for a demagogue like Trump and quickly adopted him as their defender. His supporters clearly regard themselves as a populist party, claiming to represent the interests of the forgotten working class while scorning so-called coastal elites. Trump is a wannabe autocrat as his rejection of the 2020 election and subsequent effort to foment an insurrection proves. If he had succeeded, it would have marked the end of constitutional democracy in America. His statements and actions demonstrate that he has neither understanding nor respect for the principles of liberal democracy. He is the threat that Plato warns about.

The threat to American democracy from Trump and the far right is not over. Trump maintains a strong hold on a considerable portion of working-class supporters and the violent rhetoric from many of his supporters indicates that many would engage in a violent attempt to overthrow constitutional democracy a la January 6th. The populist threat will not subside unless the conditions that have bred dissatisfaction and distrust are confronted. We can begin by introducing tax policies that address the accumulation of great wealth by a few and begin to reduce the unconscionable inequality in the U.S.

Robert D. Russell, Ph.D.

Harrisburg, Pa.


Could not agree more. The difficulty is making it happen—but what else do we have to do with our time?

The Editor


Credible Pathways to 1.5°C:

Four Pillars for Action in the 2020s

[Note: The following dispatch from The International Energy Agency (IEA) was forwarded to us by Roy Morrison. – The Ed.]

To support preparations for upcoming major events such as the COP28 Climate Change Conference, the IEA is releasing Credible Pathways to 1.5 °C: Four pillars for action in the 2020s, a new report on the key actions needed to keep within reach the Paris Agreement’s target of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 °C. That possibility is narrowing rapidly, with energy-related CO2 emissions continuing to rise in 2022 despite declining costs for clean energy technologies and the dynamic deployment of renewables, electric cars and other solutions.

Declining costs for clean energy technologies and new policies have shaved around 1 °C from projected 2100 warming compared to the pre-Paris baseline. The ambitions that countries have put on the table go a significant way to meeting the 1.5 °C goal. If implemented on time and in full, countries’ net zero pledges would be sufficient to hold warming to around 1.7 °C in 2100. The key question is therefore what needs to be done now to strengthen near-term action to put the world on a credible pathway consistent with the 1.5 °C goal. Four pillars are key:

• In the energy sector, decarbonising electricity, accelerating energy efficiency and electrification are the critical tools. Capacity additions of renewables need to triple from 2022 levels by 2030, reaching around 1,200 GW annually, representing on average 90 percent of new generation capacity each year. Electric car sales should reach a market share of around 60 percent by 2030, while zero emissions medium and heavy freight trucks should reach a market share of around 35 percent by the same year.

• Reducing deforestation to net zero by 2030 – in line with The Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use – provides the largest share of CO2 emissions reductions from the land-use sector.

• Tackling non-CO2 emissions is vital to limiting peak warming. Assuming strong action on CO2, meeting or exceeding commitments like the Kigali Amendment on HFCs and the Global Methane Pledge, and acting on non-CO2 emissions from agriculture, could make the difference between a scenario which substantially overshoots 1.5 °C, risking triggering irreversible climate tipping points, and one which does not.

• Even in a low overshoot scenario, carbon capture and storage and atmospheric carbon dioxide removal will be required to mitigate and compensate hard-to-abate residual emissions. Projects capturing around 1.2 Gt CO2 by 2030 need to be implemented, against the roughly 0.3 Gt CO2 currently planned for 2030.

A credible pathway to the 1.5 °C goal needs strong, immediate action on each of these four pillars, to deliver immediate and rapid emissions reductions; strong contributions from all countries, especially advanced and major economies; and clear policy signals to enable actors to anticipate and achieve change.

Published under License CC BY 4.0

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is a Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organisation, established in 1974, that provides policy recommendations, analysis and data on the entire global energy sector. The 31 member countries and 11 association countries of the IEA represent 75 percent of global energy demand.

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